Official Complaints made against Drop.com.au

Yesterday I filed official complaints to all of the relevant authorities in regards to Drop.com.au and/or Trellian engaging in conduct that amounts to:

  • multiple and persistent breaches of the auDA Registrar’s agreement, the auDA Code of Practice and the Competition and Consumer Act by enabling affiliates and related entities of Drop and Trellian to be provided with registry services;
  • breach of the auDA Registrar’s agreement in respect of Drop’s failure to ensure protection of the .au domain name registration infrastructure and enabling security bugs or errors to persist for 6 months; and
  • breach of the auDA Registrar’s agreement and the Code of Practice for failing to perform its duties to promote consumer protection, fair trading and competition and failing to comply with the Competition and Consumer Act.

I believe Drop has contravened various clauses of the auDA Registrar Agreement by acting as registrar to facilitate the licensing of the following domain names to affiliates or related entities to Drop:

  • in respect of mcg.com.au, which was transferred to Guzzini Pty Ltd (Guzzini), a company of which the directors and shareholders appear to be relatives of Mr Warmuz, despite the domain name being won at auction by a third party;
  • in respect of help.com.au, which was purchased by The Investment Engine Pty Ltd, of which Mr Warmuz at the relevant time was a shareholder (we wrote about this on Domainer here), and again transferred to help.com.au Pty Ltd of which Mr Warmuz is a current director and 100% shareholder; and
  • in respect of gold.com.au, which was transferred to Guzzini, of which the directors and shareholders appear to be relatives of Mr Warmuz.
  • in respect of company.com.au, which we documented on Domainer back in May 2019. We also made various complaints to auDA in regards to the manipulation of the ‘drop’ of this domain name back then, at the time, but it fell on deaf ears. We have now demanded a new, proper, and thorough investigation to take place.
  • in respect of breaching various clauses of the Registrar Agreement on at least 22 occasions by allowing domain names to be purchased via Drop’s auction platform (Platform) and to be registered to affiliates and related parties of Drop and Trellian.

We also draw attention to the double-standard Drop.com.au has placed on their new “terms and conditions” which saw me being ‘banned’ from using their platform, after I mentioned a sales price of a dropping domain name.

Drop banned me from bidding on daily dropping domain names for mentioning the sales price of delivery.com.au in May 2021 (around 4 months ago).

Yet, when another user of Drop’s Platform called “James”, posted on a blog forum owned by Mr Warmuz (DNTrade.com.au), the price of the sale of tradingroom.com.au about one month after I was banned (June 2021), nothing happened. “James” access to the Platform wasn’t restricted, with ‘Trellian’ (assumed to be Mr Warmuz himself) posting on the same blog post a few weeks later, with no mention of the new “terms” that were supposed to see “James” banned in the same way I was.

A screenshot was taken by a concerned domain investor at the time as shown here:

We will report more on the outcome of these complaints in the near future.

21 thoughts on “Official Complaints made against Drop.com.au

  • September 23, 2021 at 9:27 am
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    Looks like the owner of help.com.au has now changed its company name from NETFLEET PTY LTD to HELP.COM.AU PTY LTD.

    https://abr.business.gov.au/AbnHistory/View?id=55616511641

    auDA needs to handle this matter transparently and act accordingly if any registrars are found to be in breech of their registrar agreements.

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    • September 23, 2021 at 10:26 am
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      Interesting point. The real Netfleet company is ABN 98 134 314 373 (https://abr.business.gov.au/AbnHistory/View?id=98134314373) so it looks like ABN 55 616 511 641 is just a disposable company that changes it’s name to suite the domain, and satisfy the domain name ownership requirements of auDA. The name history suggests that they were going to transfer netfleet dot com dot au to this company when it was purchased last year. Maybe there was no need. When help dot com dot au needed a company they blew off the dust, changed the name and changed the registrant to the new company.

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      • September 23, 2021 at 11:02 am
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        help.com.au is still under the legacy policy (as at 23/9/21 1pm) so it must have been transferred before 12th April 2021

        https://www.auda.org.au/tools/licensing-version

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  • September 23, 2021 at 9:48 am
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    Apologies to the wrong “James” originally listed as the “double-standard” screenshot example. This has been edited on the article. The double-standard point remains the same though. This screenshot is not intended to get someone else ‘banned’, it’s merely showing the hypocrisy of me being the only person banned for discussing domain name pricing.

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    • September 23, 2021 at 11:21 am
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      your either being discriminated against or they don’t like you

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  • September 23, 2021 at 10:28 am
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    It looks like they have just removed all the posts from dntrade

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    • September 23, 2021 at 10:46 am
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      From DNTrade.com.au

      DNTRADE.COM.AU (DNT) RESERVES THE RIGHT!

      1. NOT TO DELETE ACCOUNTS – If you no longer wish to participate in the forum, your account will remain including all existing posts. In the case where members are banned, the account and all posts will remain..

      4 TO DECIDE WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE AND NOT ACCEPTABLE ON THE SITE – Ultimately, Admin has complete discretion over what is and is not acceptable on the DNT. Admin decisions are final. Admin reserves the right to remove offensive posts without notice. If you have any concerns or queries relating to a decision, please discuss privately with Admin via email or private message. Posts arguing about DNT policies; or admin /moderator actions are not allowed.

      Seems like the post was offensive 🙂

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  • September 23, 2021 at 10:40 am
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    Interesting how names like bra.com.au and britney.com.au show up as legacy policy when checking them on the auDA licensing version tool.

    https://www.auda.org.au/tools/licensing-version

    Given that the existing registrant did not exist until the 8/6/21 you would think that any names registered to them would have had to be transferred according to policy which includes issuing a new license. Any new domain transfer after 12th April 21 would mean that the domain would be under the current licensing policy.

    Perhaps the auDA tool is not working correctly.

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    • September 23, 2021 at 11:53 am
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      What a coincidence. Both bra.com.au and britney.com.au have both had their whois data updated and now both come under the new licensing rules. I hope the registrar of those names provides the same service to all of its customers. 🙂

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  • September 23, 2021 at 12:57 pm
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    Has anyone seen this?

    With Help.com.au – if you check auDA’s legacy published policies page on this domain, a screenshot today shows:

    This means the domain name obeys the pre-April-2021 published legacy policy… and hasn’t been transitioned over to the new .au Licensing Rules.

    Yet, WHOIS Records show the Registrant changed from “The Investment Engine Pty Ltd” to “Help.com.au Pty Ltd” in early August.

    (screenshots)

    How can Help.com.au still have “pre-12-April-2021” Legacy Published Policy status when the Registrant and license period was changed in August, over 3 months later?

    Serious question!

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  • September 23, 2021 at 2:03 pm
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    It does not really matter legacy policy or new policy. The auDA policy says that you must have a company name that is a exact match or very close match to the domain name. OR 1. Old policy was monetise, 2. New policy says offer services that are the same as your company. (so monetisation exactly the same services as your company). (I don’t want to get into discussions about monetisations here)

    What Nobby has stumbled onto is that they would seem to have a rolodex of companies. Then when they have a domain name that needs to have a good match, they change the name of the company to match the domain name and then doing a Change or Registrant to the rolodex company. This is brilliant because the company name is always an exact match so no auDA complaints or challenges.

    Nobby has stumbled on the breadcrumbs of the process. You can see what the domains were before and what they were focused on and the dates that the names of the company was changed. Timeline and intent?

    So what can you glean from this?
    1. They have a rolodex of companies that they change the name to ensure that the domain name is an exact match.
    2. That they have been doing this for a while (see the dates)
    3. A casual glance this would go un-noticed.

    Look at DNTrade.com.au registrant https://abr.business.gov.au/AbnHistory/View?id=152545518 the breadcrumbs certainly ask a few questions. What were the owners doing with NETALLIANCE name in June 2013.

    Anything Sinister? Not sure. But a great find from Nobby

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  • September 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm
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    Looking at britney.com.au it appears that a new license period has all of a sudden been applied to the domain. This can only happen for 2 reasons.

    1. The domain is renewed by the owner.
    2. The domain is transferred (COR)

    Strange things are happening in the whois data. I hope auDA have a close eye on this.

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  • September 23, 2021 at 8:51 pm
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    auDA is Not Fit For Purpose.

    Where is Government oversight DoCA, ACCC?

    Where is the auDA Board, auDA chair and auDA CEO? Are they Happy to take the $$$ money and their $$ KPI bonuses but again this year!

    Remember the Land.com.au insider trading issue it was also registered to them after dropping and being auctioned by them a few days in a row?

    Now it’s more obvious:

    https://abr.business.gov.au/ ABN 55 616 511 641

    HELP.COM.AU PTY LTD > 09 Jun 2021
    NETFLEET PTY LTD > 17 Oct 2020 – 09 Jun 2021
    LANDCOMAU AUSTRALIA PTY LTD > 30 Mar 2018 – 17 Oct 2020

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    • September 23, 2021 at 10:06 pm
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      “In its decision, the Court of Appeal recognised the importance of the system governing domain name allocation and use in Australia and that “protecting the system against unauthorised entry is therefore of paramount concern”

      ???
      3 million .au Registrants hacked and harvested again from the auDA whois database and Registry for the 7th time at least in ongoing Phishing scams of Consumer info.

      https://www.auda.org.au/categories/consumer-alert

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  • September 24, 2021 at 9:41 am
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    Very disturbing when unethical behaviour is found and no authority will do anything about it. How far will the DROP dictators go before they are stopped? Does DROP have someone on the inside at auDA?

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  • September 24, 2021 at 9:49 am
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    The truth always surfaces in the end. One disgruntled staff member or whistle blower has sunken many a ship. Then, those who failed to act who were employed to act, or those who failed to act lawfully, they will be left running from ASIC, the courts and the media.

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  • September 24, 2021 at 3:29 pm
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    IC,com,au and a number of other SEO WEB RECOVERY PTY LTD domains have now gone into pendingDelete. Is this because of actions of auDA?

    Whatever the reason registrars still need to be held accountable for their actions and auDA needs to be fully transparent. A slap on the wrist is not a solution.

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  • September 24, 2021 at 4:03 pm
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    Here are a few names that currently are registered to SEO WEB RECOVERY PTY LTD and were previously owned by GUZZINI that are now in pendingDelete

    WINZIP.com.au
    IC.com.au
    DMOZ.com.au
    NEWSHOP.COM.AU
    DOTNOW.COM.AU
    SHOPPIE.com.au
    GIRLEE.com.au
    LOVECAN.com.au
    ANYLINKS.com.au
    FRETROOM.com.au
    MYMEMORY.com.au
    BUYPERFUME.com.au
    MENUPRICES.com.au
    OCEANHOTEL.com.au
    PICKUPONLY.com.au
    SEARCHEASY.com.au
    WEIGHTLOST.com.au
    MYTESTINGSITE.com.au

    This is only a small selection of names. Why are they all in pendingDelete?

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  • September 24, 2021 at 5:38 pm
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    A few more. They were put into 3 day pendingDelete on Friday which means they drop on Monday after the weekend.

    ALNO.com.au
    MRMO.com.au
    VASX.com.au
    ZILA.com.au
    DROIT.com.au
    FREEO.com.au
    VEMNO.com.au
    BIAGRA.com.au
    CXWAVE.com.au
    ONAPRA.com.au
    SOCLAB.com.au
    CRYPTOE.com.au
    HEMPINC.com.au
    LOTTO24.com.au
    LANLINK.net.au
    LOVECAN.com.au
    WISEDMZ.com.au
    ADOMANIA.com.au
    ALLFONES.com.au
    HANDYMEE.com.au
    KAYKRAFT.com.au
    KONKATSU.com.au
    V8OWNERS.com.au
    ANGELBODY.com.au
    CAMPABOAT.com.au
    DONIMEDIA.com.au
    HIREFIELD.COM.AU
    LEGALEAZE.com.au

    I wonder what happens to the au database audit trail when a name is dropped is it entirely deleted?. You would think auDA would have historical data of domains that were registered and transferred.

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  • September 24, 2021 at 5:47 pm
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    Well spotted, Nobby.

    SEO WEB RECOVERY are now deleting all of their names?

    At the same time we submitted our complaints?

    I guess it’s time to shine the spotlight on SEO WEB RECOVERY, coming up, in the very next blog article…

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